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Siddhi B. Ranjitkar: Maoists’ Quiet Revolution

Maoists’ Quiet Revolution


By Siddhi B. Ranjitkar

Eventually, Maoists successfully surfaced in the Kathmandu Valley on June 16, 2006. Maoists’ Supreme Leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal popularly known as ‘Prachand’, his spouse Sita Dahal, and the second-In-Command of the Maoists, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai flew in on a helicopter from Pokhara to Kathmandu in the morning of June 16, 2006. Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula accompanied them [1]. From the Kathmandu airport to the Prime Minister’s residence at Baluwatar in Kathmandu, both the Maoists and the Home Minister traveled on a government vehicle flying the state flag on it for one-on-one talks with the Prime Minister (PM) of the Seven-Party Alliance (SPA).

Two large trucks of the Maoists’ militia without visible weapons with them stayed at the entrance to and on the premises of the PM’s residence while the Maoists’ leaders were holding talks with the PM, and later on with the leaders of the SPA. The two unusual trucks that the author has never seen before were parked on the road: one to the east and another to the west of the entrance to the PM’s residence. The media people and other onlookers gathered at the entrance and some climbed to the porches of the nearby houses to have a better look at the people on the premises of the PM’s residence.

The media people and the whole world for that matter had been kept on waiting until the Maoists’ and the SPA leaders held the joint press conference at about 8:00 P.M. after about 11-hour-long marathon talks between the leaders of the Maoists and the SPA held in the PM’s residence.

Outside the PM's residence, members of the Maoists’ militia called People's Liberation Army (PLA) and of the State police forces had kept themselves busy having a sentimental conversation, sharing their feelings and exchanging views. Until recently, they had met at the battlefield only to kill each other.

Attempting to assure the police that the rebels were not a gang of bad guys, a rebel militiaman offered, "Let's work together to rebuild our nation, let's restructure our state machinery together."

Clustered together in small groups at a corner, the PLA men and the cops have good words to say for each other. Most of the time the curious cops were firing questions at the rebels while the latter answered them. The cops looked "shy" - sometimes covering their face with hands trying to avoid the media attention while the rebels looked like political leaders.

Under the sizzling sun though the 10-hour long wait for the first-ever held "High-level Talks" was really tedious and tiring, members of the state and rebel armed forces were visibly enjoying the conversation. Even when rebels chided the government and the king, the cops just listened to them patiently and asked more questions such as "How much is your salary? What do you do with the money you collect in "donation", and whether you keep it with you or give it to the party?”

One rebel replied - "We don't get a fixed salary like you… but we are paid 500 rupees a month. The donation goes directly to the party. No cadre keeps the money with him or her."

When the police asked what they would do if their leaders dumped their ideology in future, the PLA members said, "Our leaders are more good and less bad… but, if they ditch us, the people's right to revolt is always open."

At the same time the rebel was encouraging the cops to revolt against the "feudal" king. "Don't doubt us," he told the police. "Let us end feudalism, gather courage. And, we can rule our country together."

This was how the hundreds of rebels militia and police stationed at the PM’s residence passed their time while the topmost Maoist and SPA leaders were busy at drawing the roadmap of Nepal's future in the residence. [2]

Hours before the "High-level Talks" started, Chief of Army Staff (CoAS), Gen. Pyar Jung Thapa, called on the Prime Minister. The meeting between them went on for about 50 minutes. Nothing was known about what transpired. [3]

The Maoists’ and SPA leaders came out with an Eight-Point Agreement reached between the Maoists’ and the SPA leaders to brief the media people patiently waiting for the whole day for that matter. Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula read out the Eight-Point Agreement in Nepali at the press conference on June 16, 2006.

Highlights of the Eight-Point Agreement

1. Implementation of the 12-point Understanding [4] and the 25-point Cease-Fire Code Of Conduct [5].

2. Commitment to democratic norms and values.

3. UN for management of both armies and arms to ensure fair elections for a Constituent Assembly (for crafting a new people’s constitution).

4. Drafting of an interim constitution, formation of an interim government, setting date for the elections for a Constituent Assembly and dissolution of House of Representatives, and the Maoists’ government.

5. Making decisions on the issues of national importance on consensus and mutual understanding.

6. Ensuring the people’s participation in elections for a Constituent Assembly without fear and intimidation

7. Restructuring the state, converting ceasefire into a lasting peace, and resolving all issues through dialogue;

8. Instructed the dialogue teams of both the government of Nepal and the CPN-Maoist to immediately implement all the agreed points. [6]

Those present at the talks were Madhav Kumar Nepal, Sher Bahadur Deuba, Narayan Man Bijukchhe, Amik Sherchan, Prabhu Narayan Chaudhary of the Seven-Party Alliance, and Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachand’, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Dinanath Sharma, and Dev Gurung of the CPN-Maoist. Also present at the talks were representatives of the civil society and facilitators of the ongoing peace talks, they included Daman Nath Dhungana, Padma Ratna Tuladhar, Devendra Raj Pandey and Sindhu Nath Pyakurel. [7]

On June 16, 2006, after signing the Eight-Point Agreement between the CPN-Maoist and the SPA, and appearing at the joint press conference of the CPN-Maoist leaders and the SPA leaders held at the PM’s residence (the State-run Nepal TV aired the press conference live), Prachand formally surfaced in Kathmandu for the first time in the decade since the Maoists launched the people's war in 1996. Jubilant Maoists’ Supreme Leader Prachand flanked by his second-in-command Dr. Baburam Bhattarai on his right and CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal on his left sitting on the same row with other SPA leaders spoke clearly and succinctly to the media people under the unlit tent hurriedly put up.

At the press conference, Prachand told the media people that an interim government would be in place within a month after an interim constitution to be prepared by the draft committee. The time given for preparing a draft interim constitution was two weeks. He said that such talks should have been held immediately after April 24, 2006 [8], and should not delay any tasks in the future. In an answer to the question of one of the media person, he said that elections for a constituent assembly might be possible to hold within a year.

Prachand said that the CPN-Maoist and the SPA coming together for a common cause has propounded a new philosophy that could be an example for the whole world to follow for ending the political deadlock. "Neither the peaceful movement of the parliamentary forces nor the armed rebellion launched by our party separately could break the deadlock in the country," he confessed. Recalling the three months unilateral cease-fire declared by the CPN-Maoist in the last quarter of 2005, he said that they had decided to declare it to keep the people's hope alive. "The 12-point Understanding was based on the same basis and it led the country to an optimistic future." Stating Baburam Bhattarai and he himself were in a mission of peace with forward-looking agenda, he presumed, "The power centers and the whole world might have been surprisingly watching us, but the process can be taken as a beginning of freeing Nepal from foreign intervention."

Laying great stress on the urgent need for restructuring the country, Prachand said that there was no use of the army of 90,000 in the nation. Stating the Nepali Army has done nothing significant since the time of Sugauli Treaty in 1815 [9] except for killing innocent people and raping women, he questioned, "Can it fight and defeat India or China or America." He said an army of 10,000 to 20,000 would be enough to maintain law and order, give the people militia training to defend the country.

He said that all the bodies of people's government set up by the CPN-Maoist and the House of Representatives would be dissolved simultaneously after the formation of an interim constitution and interim government.

Replying to the question of a ceremonial king, he said that his party would take the agenda of a democratic republic to the people during the elections for a Constituent Assembly other parties were free to go to the Constituent Assembly elections with their own views about the monarchy and people would decide whether to keep a ceremonial monarchy or not. If anybody wants a ceremonial king that is his/her rights however, his party will opt for a republic. [10]

Chairman of the CPN-Maoist, Prachand said that the Eight-Point Agreement between the SPA and the CPN-Maoist was a historic one, and it proved that both the Maoists and the SPA could go together to meet the Nepali people’s desire for peace and prosperity even braving the enormous pressure from “powerful countries” and “big revolutionaries” against the idea of both sides reaching an understanding to topple autocracy. "No one had thought that the rebels waging war and the political parties involved in parliamentary politics would jointly make a revolution happen; the collaboration between the political parties and the Maoists took place to liberate the people from 237-year-old grip of feudal forces and the influence of foreign elements. It is more than a political give and take. It's also more than elector politics. It's an experiment that can provide a new modality of peace to humankind," Chairman Prachand went on saying. “The international community including the USA and India, could not grasp the ground reality of the people’s 19 days of peaceful movement; the agreement could be an instrument to free the nation and its people from all kinds of foreign interference,” said Chairman Prachand. [11]

Speaking at the same press conference after Prachand, CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal said that the democratic forces and the armed insurgents coming to a common understanding and resolving all sorts of problems through the negotiation and the understanding have set an example for the world. He said that the problems of various things including extortion could be solved by both the parties coming together and having an understanding and mutual cooperation. He also said Nepal was on the road to an election for a constituent assembly and no one could stop it. He also urged the Maoist leader Prachand to stay on in the capital and focus on the center giving the responsibilities to other party workers for the activities at the districts.

Speaking after General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal, President of Nepali Congress-Democratic, Sher Bahadur Deuba told the media people at the joint press conference that the Eight-Point Understanding reached between the CPN-Maoist and the government was another historical event, and he believed that it would assist in restructuring the country.

Prime Minister Koirala was not present at the press conference. Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula said the Prime Minister could not attend the press conference due to his poor health. PM Koirala was leaving for Bangkok, Thailand for medical check-up the next day on Saturday, June 17, 2006. News reports said Prachand left Katmandu for the Western Nepal on early Saturday. [12]. The high-level meeting between the top leaders of the seven political parties including PM Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist Supreme Leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal popularly known as Prachand held at the PM's official residence, Baluwatar on Friday. June 16, 2006 was the first publicly known meeting between them. [13]

After the Eight-Point Agreement between the SPA leaders and the CPN–Maoist, pursuant to the Article Eight of the Eight-Point Agreement, the leader of the Dialogue team of the Government of Nepal and Home Minister, Krishna Prasad Sitaula and the leader of the dialogue team of the CPN-Maoist, Krishna Bahadur Mahara signed an understanding about forming a committee on drafting an Interim Constitution designating Former Supreme Court Justice Laxman Prasad Aryal as a coordinator of the committee, Harihar Dahal, Sindhunath Pyakurel, Shambhu Thapa, Mahadev Yadav and Khim Lal Devkota as members. Dahal, Pyakurel and Thapa are senior advocates. Dahal, and Pyakurel are the former presidents of Nepal Bar Association. Thapa is the current president of Nepal Bar Association

According to the understanding reached between the two parties, the committee would present a draft of an interim constitution to the dialogue teams of the government of Nepal and the CPN-Maoist within 15 days. The dialogue teams in turn would then present the draft at the talks between the top leaders of the government of Nepal and the CPN-Maoist. [14]

After holding ‘High-level Talks’ with the leaders of seven political parties in Kathmandu on Friday, June 16, 2006, Chairman Prachand, left Kathmandu for Doti of far western region via Surkhet on Saturday morning. Chairman Prachand, his spouse Sita Dahal, Maoist ideologue Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, Maoists’ Dialogue-Team Member, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, and Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula landed at the Surkhet Airport on Saturday morning, and moved on farther. Home Minister Sitaula returned to Surkhet seeing off the Maoist leaders at a village on the banks of the Karnali River on the border of Doti and Surkhet. Chairman Prachand and Dr Bhattarai set off for a nationwide campaign to train the Maoist activists for the constituent assembly elections to be held "within a year." [15]

On Saturday, June 17, 2006, Nepalis hailed an agreement between the SPA leaders and the CPN-Maoist rebels to jointly create an interim government, calling it a sign of peace after a decade of conflict in the nation.

"This is a landmark agreement that has resolved an armed conflict through peaceful means," said Bharat Mohan Adhikari of the CPN-UML, a member of the ruling SPA. "This has been the most positive development since the radical communist force vowed to join in peaceful politics and reiterated its commitment to basic human rights," said Arjun Narsingh of the NC, also a member of the ruling SPA. "Now people can finally live in peace and feel secure in the country and do not have to live a life of fear. Now the country can focus on development," said Purna Poudel, a businessman in Katmandu. [16]

Many Nepalis believed the government’s power-sharing deal with the leaders of the CPN-Maoist could lead to peace. An agreement to bring Nepal's Maoist rebels into government leads to a lasting peace. Nepalis welcomed it as a historic event in the country. On Friday, June 16, 2006, the Government of Nepal said it would dissolve parliament and set up an interim government that would also include the Maoists. The BBC's Charles Haviland in Kathmandu said that there was a sense that peace [17] was tangibly closer, but there was some concern that the accord made no mention of the rebels abandoning violence. The radical agreement would sweep away Nepal's recently restored parliament, 16-year-old constitution, and the SPA coalition government. It would also get rid of the parallel government the Maoists run in much of the countryside. [18]

On June 17, 2006, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) said in its statement that the RPP has taken positively the Eight-Point Agreement reached between the leaders of the SPA and the CPN-Maoist, and its contents such as multiparty system, civil independence, fundamental rights, human rights, press freedom and democratic norms and values. The RPP welcomed the efforts to a lasting peace in the country. The party however expressed surprise that the Monitoring Committee constituted by the Parliament and the Peace Committee constituted by the Government of Nepal were not aware of the huge strides the peace process was taking, and the Eight-Point Agreement did not address the loss of lives of about 14,000 Nepalis in the more than a decade long conflict. "It is surprising that the government did not even inform (about the agreement) to the peace committee formed by the government itself and a separate monitoring committee formed by parliament," said Pashupati Shumsher Rana, Chairman of the party. "It would be better had the ruling alliance held intensive debate before signing the agreement," said Chairman Rana. "But it may be due to the seven-party alliance's authoritarian attitude, it did not happen." [19]

The State-run newspaper called “The Rising Nepal” ran the editorial titled ‘Important Achievement’ stating that the meeting between senior leaders of the SPA including Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, and Maoists’ Supreme Leader Prachand held on June 16, 2006 was historic on many accounts, especially the commitment of both the parties to democratic norms and values, and the significant agreement that was reached in paving the way for a lasting peace. Both sides agreed to the sincere implementation of the 12-point agreement and the 25-point ceasefire code of conduct. The 12-point understanding reached between the SPA and the CPN-Maoist paved the way for the successful Jana Andolan and the reestablishment of democracy and reinstatement of the House of Representatives. [20] The Rising Nepal had been deadly against democracy and people’s welfare during the king’s rule, and blindly supported every step the king and his ministers took. This newspaper opposed the 12-point understanding reached between the SPA leaders and the Maoists, and every step of the SPA toward democracy and democratic values. Therefore, this newspaper had acted as the enemy of the people during the king’s autocratic regime. Now, this newspaper has changed its tone and attempting to be democracy friendly newspaper.

Chiefs of the United Nations and the United Kingdom missions in Kathmandu have heartily welcomed the momentous agreement reached between the government and Maoists on Friday, June 16, 2006. However, the US Government didn't want to comment directly on the fresh agreement. The US Government was very skeptical of the groundbreaking 12-point understanding reached between the SPA and the Maoists on November 22, 2006 too.

Talking to the reporter of ‘The Kathmandu Post’ on Saturday evening, June 17, 2006, UN's Resident Coordinator in Nepal, Matthew Kahane said he was "very pleased" to see the SPA, the Nepal Government and the Maoists have been able to reach the Eight-Point Agreement. However, he was still awaiting official comments from the UN Headquarters in New York.

Similarly, British Ambassador Keith Bloomfield said the fresh agreement was a "positive development." "However, there should be a bankable guarantee that precludes the Maoists from going back to the jungle." "The agreement is very good hoping that it will result in free and fair election, which the British Government supports," said Bloomfield. He was completing his four-year term in Nepal on Monday, June 19, 2006. He said, "the jury is still out" on whether the Maoists are preparing to surrender their arms permanently. "If they lose (constituent assembly) elections, they shouldn't be allowed to re-use the weapons… whatever the results, they shouldn't have the option of going back to the jungle," he said. "That's the bottom line. That's the concern for us."

The spokesperson for the US Embassy in Nepal declined to make any comment on the fresh agreement, and just said, "We support the people of Nepal in their effort to establish peaceful, prosperous and democratic Nepal." [21]

In separate interviews to the Indian media, leaders of the left and socialist parties in India urged the Naxalite groups across India to "reconsider their political tactical line in the wake of the Maoists in Nepal joining the mainstream". They said, "The concept of power through bullet has been repudiated even in Nepal".

Leaders of Communist Party of India - Marxist, Communist Party of India (CPI) and Forward Bloc said, "the historic accord between the Maoists and the SPA in Nepal would have a direct impact on the Maoist movement in South Asia including the ''revolutionary corridor"' from Kashmir to Vishakapatanam.

CPI General Secretary A. B. Bardhan said, ‘‘this is a historic accord between the Maoists and the SPA, which will have far-reaching repercussions not only in our sub-continent but also over the Marxist extremist thinking all over the world.'' 'The accord in Nepal will have ideological repercussions on the extremist elements everywhere,'' Bardhan told a news agency in New Delhi, India.

In another interview, CPI National Secretary Shamim Faizi refuted the basic concept of Maoism that 'the power comes through the barrel of a gun', and said "if the ballot has to decide the future of a country's set-up, which the Nepal Maoists have agreed to, the Maoists elements in India will have to redraft their political and strategic tactics." [22]

Nepalis on the streets were upbeat.

Rajesh Khatri, 18, recently came to Kathmandu from Godar in Dhanusha, to enlist in the Nepalese Army. However, he was unlucky, as the army cancelled the recruitment following the government-Maoist agreement not to admit new entrants in their armed forces. He said, "I believe in what Prachand said about stopping violence, theft and intimidation, because he is the commander (of the Maoists). I am fully convinced that peace will prevail."

A victim of frequent strikes and violence, taxi driver for 18 years, Shyam Krishna Shrestha, 38, said, "Though nobody can predict the future, the immediate signs are encouraging. I hope life will improve after Nepal becomes a republic."

A roadside fruit vendor, Durga Bahadur Khadka, 53, said, "I strongly believe that this time peace will be restored, otherwise, Prachand himself would not have come out in the open. Both sides must have realized that innocent people became the victims of their war." Terming King Gyanendra's visits to the countryside during his 14-month rule a "drama", Khadka said, "Releasing pigeons alone is not enough for peace and he did not make a single move for peace." Khadka's message to the government and the Maoists: "go ahead collectively, recognize each other's existence and stop killing each other for petty political interests".

A housewife from Solukhumbu, Ganga Bhandari, 32, was hopeful too. Her reasons for optimism were: the people themselves were involved this time. "The past agreements were made by only leaders or the king," she said shyly. "But this time, the people have come out." [23]

The historic Eight-Point Agreement signed by top leaders of the SPA and Maoist Chairman Prachand has "confused" Former Army Chief and Member of the now dissolved ‘Privy Council’ called Rajparishad, Satchit Shumsher Rana. "I have not fully understood what happened. It is a confusing situation. I will comment only after things crystallize," Rana told the reporter of ‘The Kathmandu Post’.

Foreign Minister in the King Gyanendra's cabinet, Ramesh Nath Pandey said, "I was deeply impressed by Prachand's presentation of his vision for Nepal's future. I must also add that he demonstrated admirable nationalist sentiment."

Another Minister in the King's cabinet, Shrish Shumsher Rana, said that he would express his comments in an article. [24]

The pace of change has been as breathtaking as the Himalayan scenery. In just a few short weeks, Nepal has rediscovered democracy and brought 10 years of civil war tantalizingly close to an end. This week Nepalis are asking themselves if it is all too good to be true and the international community is wondering if a group labeled terrorist is serious about joining the democratic mainstream. "The basic question is whether the Maoists can be trusted or not," said Kunda Dixit, editor of the English-language Nepali Times. "The main thing is that they didn't renounce violence, and they didn't give a timetable for decommissioning their weapons." In an interview with Reuters last week, rebel chief Prachand suggested his "People's Liberation Army" as well as the government's army should be confined to camps during the constituent assembly elections, under international supervision. Some hard-line commanders are believed to be unhappy with the peace process, and there is a risk of the movement splitting along ethnic or caste lines, analysts say. "If at the moment they take away their arms and renounce violence, there will be a split down the middle," said editor Dixit. "We don't want to go back to square one, with the hardliners going back to war," he said. "We can't trust them but we have to test them. What's the alternative?" [25]

The Nepal Government would request United Nations for management of arms of the Maoists’ militia and of the security forces, and for monitoring them during the elections for a constituent assembly, but it would not invite any foreign military for maintaining peace. The Nepal Government has already drafted a request letter, and would forward it through the Foreign Ministry to the UN very soon.

"We are inviting the UN only to monitor the arms of both sides but not inviting any military to our territory for maintaining peace," Minister Pradip Gyawali said in response to a question. The government and the SPA had taken maximum flexibility to bring the rebels into mainstream politics, the minister said. "We have agreed to dissolve the House of Representatives reinstated by the popular movement by constituting a viable alternative that could guard people's fundamental rights and national sovereignty," he said. [26]

On June 18, 2006, ‘Swiss Government's Special Advisor To Peace Building In Nepal’, Dr. Gunther Baechler told reporters in Kathmandu, the Eight-Point Peace Agreement reached between the SPA and the Maoist is a "breakthrough in the peace and constitution building process," and said that Switzerland would support Nepal with expertise on constitution building, and financial assistance for infrastructure building. Nepal's peace process has a high potential for success as both the sides “the SPA and the Maoists” came to the negotiation table on their own even against the will of others. In most of the armed conflicts around the world, parties to the conflict had to be forced to the table and guided through the process with the help of a mediator. This makes a huge difference in terms of chances to succeed. However, he warned that the peace process could fail in the absence of "clear technical agreements about the sequencing of further steps, about the decommissioning of arms and the demobilization and/or reorientation of the armies as well as "erratic communication structures and weak institutions.” He also suggested starting demilitarization from both the top and bottom levels for its effectiveness. He recommended three major tasks “arms management, elections to the constituent assembly and reflecting of people's will” in the interim government that is going to be formed within a month. Stating that arms management was a vital issue, he suggested two models for it. Either weapons from both sides should be kept under national and international monitoring or both the armies be confined to their respective barracks and be monitored, he said. "But first there has to be verification of arms before any international body such as the UN is requested to monitor. He expressed dissatisfaction with the peace agreement did not mention arms verification. Dr. Gunther Baechler was an expert in conflict management. He did Ph. D. in conflict in Rwanda. [27]

On June 18, 2006, Convener of the Interim Constitution Drafting Committee, Laxman Prasad Aryal said that main topics such as the King's April 24 proclamation, the House of Representatives’ Declaration on May 18, the Nepal Government-Maoist cease-fire (code of conduct) published on May 26, and the agreement between the SPA and the Maoists on June 16 would be taken into consideration for formulating the Interim Constitution. Convener Aryal made it clear that the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal of 1990 would be abrogated after the Interim Constitution was made.

Convener Aryal said that the king would have a place in the Interim Constitution; after the promulgation of the Interim Constitution, an interim Government would be formed; elections to a Constituent Assembly would be held and the Constituent Assembly alone would decide the fate of the monarchy. Convener Aryal also said that a provision for a body to work as the legislature would be made in the Interim Constitution after discussing the matter with the seven political parties and the Maoists. He said, "The draft of the Interim Constitution would be short. The time is short. Still, efforts would be made to hold discussions with and take suggestions from the civic society.” Former Justice of the Supreme Court of Nepal, Aryal was one of the architects of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal, 1990. [28]

Women leaders have expressed their annoyance for not including women on the Interim-Constitution-Drafting Committee. Speaking at an interaction program on 'Equal Role Of Women In Constituent Assembly And The Role Of Inter-Party Women's Network' held by the Inter-Party Women's Network in Lalitpur on June 18, 2006, participants warned the Nepal Government that they would stage protest programs if the trend of denying positions in every decision-making process to women continued.

Minister of State for Women, Children and Social Welfare, Urmila Aryal said that her appeal to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and General Secretary of CPN-UML, Madhav Kumar Nepal for including women in the interim-constitution-drafting committee was ignored she would put it in the cabinet meeting and also warned of writing 'note of dissent' if her voice was not heard.

Chairperson of the Inter-Party Women's Network, Sahana Pradhan said that the constitution made without the participation of the women would not address the rights of women. Vice Chairman of the Inter-Party Women's Network, Uma Adhikari said that the concerned persons should take the responsibilities for the outcome and consequences of neglecting women. Standing Committee Member of the CPN-UML, Bamdev Gautam said that the women should fight for their rights rather than become satisfied with the reservations quota given by others. [29]

Addressing an interaction held by the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) in Kathmandu on Thursday, June 29, 2006, the Maoist Chairman Prachand expressed disappointment over the debate on the interim-constitution-drafting committee and what he called "unnecessary" delay in starting the draft work. He said, "A five-page document based on the 25-point Code Of Conduct and Eight-Point Agreement is enough but there are attempts to expand the present six-member committee to 25." [29a]

In Betahani, Nepal on June 19, 2006, Ram Kumar Jaisawal said the people of his tiny village on Nepal's baking southern plains would never have had the courage to speak out against Maoist rebels a few days ago. But after a landmark peace deal reached between the government and rebels on Friday, June 16, 2006, the people of Maoist-dominated rural Nepal might gradually be finding their voices again. Shortly after the news of the deal filtered through, dozens of men and women gathered at a mango grove in Betahani to protest against the Maoists’ commander who they said was intimidating them and extorting money. ''There is tremendous fear,'' said 50-year-old farmer Jaisawal. ‘‘But since there is some unity between the government and the Maoists, now we think we can speak to the party and be heard.''

''When they hold meetings, they come with a big stick and say you must attend or pay us money,'' said a farmer from Ramawapur village on the fertile terai plains, bordering India. ''When there is voting, people will vote for them out of fear.''

The Maoists say they are unwilling to surrender their arms ahead of the elections, arguing they do not trust the Nepali Army. Instead they have proposed their forces as well as the government's be confined to camps during the vote.

''Until they deposit their weapons, we will be scared of them,'' said the farmer, sitting on a rope bed outside his home, which had an ornately carved door but no electricity. Reluctant to give his name, he said he would not have spoken out at all before the ceasefire.

In Betahani, this weekend's protest took place just a few yards from the Maoists' office, a bare shop occupied since the ceasefire and furnished with only a table, a telephone and peeling poster saying ''love is enough.'' A 19-year-old boy wearing a US Army T-shirt and with the fire of righteousness in his eyes, and Area Committee Member Ashok Verma said any complaints about the local commander would be investigated. ''If people lodge a complaint with us, and we find him guilty, action will be taken,'' he said. [30]

Speaking at an informal meeting of the party held at its headquarters at Sanepa, Kathmandu, NC Central Committee members have expressed strong reservation about the Eight-Point Agreement reached between the SPA and the Maoists after the “High-Level Talks” on Friday, June 16, 2006. They charged the party leadership of making such an important agreement in a hurry and without doing proper homework. While accepting the agreement as positive for restoring peace in the country and ending the decade long Maoist insurgency that has claimed the lives of more than 13,000 Nepalis, they expressed dissatisfaction with the issue of dissolving the House of Representatives after issuing an interim constitution. Most of the central committee members expressed the views that Maoists should be included in the interim government only after settling the issue of weapon management. [31] Most of the members of the House of Representatives wanted to prolong the life of the House to enjoy the privilege, pride and paisa (remuneration) brought by it. Hence, it was natural for them to oppose the Eight-Point Agreement that would cause the loss of their bread and butter. Thus, these guys are not for a lasting people that Nepalis wanted but for preserving their own interest. Most of them tried to skip the House session causing the thin attendance. Some members leave the House immediately after completing their speech.

At the meeting held at the Central Office of the CPN-UML at Balkhu (Madannagar), Kathmandu on Thursday, June 22, 2006, leaders of the SPA expressed their dissatisfaction with the process of drafting the Eight-Point Agreement between the SPA and the CPN-Maoist as well as of forming the Interim-Constitution-Drafting Committee. Though they welcomed the historic agreement, they said that there had been little consultations with the parties prior to signing it on June 16, 2006. Leaders of smaller parties even accused the big parties of exercising hegemony. At the meeting, they raised various issues including inviting the United Nations to monitor arms management and involving women in the Interim-Constitution-Drafting Committee.

Rajendra Mahato of Nepal Sadbhavana Party-Anandidevi said that whatever was being done was not compatible with the House of Representatives’ Proclamation and norms of the people's movement. "There has been hegemony of the larger parties; the Interim-Constitution-Drafting Committee does not have an inclusive character and there has been no coordination among the seven political parties.” [32] How could small parties in the SPA say that the large parties dominated them, when all the leaders of the SPA signed on the Eight-Point Agreement on behalf of the SPA? Clearly, some leaders in the SPA were not for getting along with the Maoists and for a lasting peace. They have the House of Representatives and the government; they enjoyed all sort of privileges and benefits from the government as well as from being the members of the House of Representatives. They did not want to lose all these things. So, they simply wanted to continue the current situation putting various obstacles to the peace deal with the Maoists.

A week after Chairman of the CPN-Maoist, Prachand alleged Nepali Army of doing nothing other than killing people and raping women; Nepali Army expressed ‘serious reservations’ about the remarks. In a statement issued on Thursday, June 22, 2006, spokesman for the Nepalese Army, Brigadier General Nepal Bhusan Chand said Nepali Army was seriously concerned over what it called objectionable comments and remarks made by the rebel leader “during the recent special government program at an important venue which was telecast live all over the country and attended by top political leaders.”

“Nepali Army has a history of over 225 years old culture of glorious nationalism, protection of territorial integrity and selfless sacrifice for people’s security. Nepal’s history is the testimony to the fact that from the past to the present, the Nepali Army has always remained committed to protect the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and dignity of the people under the direct command of the prevailing constitutional government,” the statement said. [33] The Nepali Army should have given the concrete examples of what the army had done to protect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and dignity of Nepalis. Nepalis have quite a number of examples of the army killing innocent people and raping women.

In Kathmandu, child-rights activists said sexual abuse, harassment, and violence have become a way of life in Nepal's schools with security forces occupying their premises in the name of combating Maoist guerrillas. An umbrella of 36 rights organizations, ‘Children as Zone of Peace’ (CZOP) has been urging the new government of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala to withdraw security forces from all occupied schools but to no avail.

“Now there is a democratic government that says it is committed to peace and protecting human rights. Also, both the government and the Maoists called a ceasefire in April 2006. But even two months after that, security forces still continue to run barracks on school premises.” said Kundan Aryal, President of the CZOP.

When the Maoist guerrillas started their People's War in February 1996 to abolish monarchy and turn Nepal into a communist republic, security forces began moving to schools on the grounds they were the most secure places or were located in strategically important areas. “If that is the case, we are asking the government to provide other locations so that the schools can shift there; we have written one letter each to the new Home Ministry and the Education Ministry but so far no one has done anything.” said President Aryal.

Schools had been battlefields; students and teachers had been the casualties in the past. Maoists’ guerrillas held indoctrination programs in the schools forcing the students and teachers to attend while security forces learning about the plan of the Maoists launched an attack. In several incidents, security forces used helicopters to indiscriminately bomb such indoctrination camps resulting in civilian casualties.

According to a report compiled by the group, there are at least 11 schools where security forces are still running barracks. While most of them are in the districts, at least one, the Dhumrabarahi School at Sukedhara is in Kathmandu.

“There are growing incidents of girl students at grade nine and above are subjected to sexual abuse by the soldiers,'” said Tarak Dhital, whose NGO, Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN) is a member of the group campaigning against the barracks on school premises. “There are similar reports from remote districts such as Rukum, Salyan and Bajura, as well as from Kathmandu. [34]

On Thursday, June 22, 2006, speaking at a meeting in BP Nagar after the party's five-day training of the central command cadres, Maoists’ Chairman Prachand said conspiracies were being hatched against the recent SPA-Maoist Eight-Point Agreement. While the whole country was already heading to the constituent assembly polls and the Maoist party was moving ahead very "responsibly"; "We smelled some conspiracies against the recent pact, but they would be shattered within a few days." However, he did not divulge further. "Conspiracies take place in the capital since the monarchy is yet to be dropped," he said. [35] Chairman Prachand must be responding to the public statement issued by the army objecting his straight and strong remarks on the performances of the Nepali army. Instead of vaguely responding to the army’s statement, Chairman Prachand could have demanded the concrete examples of the Nepali army’s performances.

After the Nepali Army's statement objecting the Maoists’ Leader Prachand's remarks on the Nepali Army, the Defense Ministry sent a letter to the Nepali Army, Military Headquarters, Kathmandu on Friday, June 23, 2006 stating, "The ministry directs the Nepali Army not to issue any press release, refute any remark and hold press meet except in military functions, trainings and exercises." However, Spokesperson for the Defense Ministry, Bhupendra Poudel refused to comment on the letter but revealed that the ministry has asked the army not to speak about policy issues. "Government itself will deal and has been dealing with such issues," he said, without referring to the latest directive. [36] The Defense Ministry should take disciplinary actions against the spokesperson for the army for issuing the public statement. The Defense Ministry was the right government agency for responding to the remarks of anybody including Chairman Prachand on the army not the army spokesperson.

On Saturday, June 24, 2006, speaking at a program in Kathmandu, Deputy Prime Minister Amik Serchan said the government should be held accountable for the Nepali Army’s political comment on Maoists’ leader Prachand’s statement on the Nepali Army. Deputy Prime Minister Serchan said, “As officiating Prime Minister (PM) and head of the Ministry of Defense, I have discussed the issue with the secretary to the ministry. The issue will be raised in earnest in the cabinet after Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala returns from Bangkok on Tuesday.” Deputy Prime Minister Serchan further said, “The army should not raise political issues. The government is there for raising political issues.”

Meanwhile speaking at another program, another Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Oli said the reaction of the Directorate of Public Relations of the Nepali Army to Maoist Chairman Prachand's remark was natural. Talking to reporters after a function in Kathmandu on Saturday, June 24, 2006, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Oli said there could be some bad elements in the army, but a responsible leader should not make a negative remark on the entire institution. Deputy Prime Minister Oli further said, “A responsible political leader such as Prachand should not have said what he has been reported to have said.”

Speaking at a program in Kathmandu on Saturday, June 24, 2006, Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula asserted, as the army was an organ of the state, such reaction was not necessary. “The government will speak if necessary,” Home Minister Sitaula said.

On Saturday, June 24, 2006, CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal said that the government must take a stand on the controversy kicked off by what Maoists’ Supreme Leader Prachand said about the army during a press conference at the prime ministerial residence on Friday, June 16, 2006. “It’s time for the government to come up with a reaction to the issue. The point is, if the army indeed stepped over the line, the government must do what is needed under the circumstances,” General Secretary Nepal said. However, he tried to downplay the row, saying, “The army may have said what it did since there is no Defense Minister and advised Prachand to “stop ridiculing the army.” [37]

Chairman of the CPN-Maoist, Prachand said that there was no reason for debating about the Eight-Point Agreement reached between his party and the SPA on June 16, 2006. It should not cause any rift in the SPA, as it was a continuation of the 12-Point Understanding reached between the SPA and the CPN-Maoist on November 22, 2005, he said at a press conference in Atariya of Kailali. He also said that the arms management was not a big and complicated issue, could be resolved through the understanding between the SPA and the CPN-Maoist. The interim government formed after the formulation of an interim constitution could unify the Maoist militia and the Nepali Army. The Maoist leader also said that there was no 'secret' deal reached between him and Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala during his meeting with the Prime Minister at Baluwatar.

Addressing an interaction held by the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) in Kathmandu on Thursday, June 29, 2006, the Maoist Chairman Prachand said, "We can place the armed forces of both the sides under a single command when an interim government is formed pursuant to the new interim constitution." He also proposed to make the Prime Minister the Commander-In-Chief of the joint command of the Nepali Army and People's Liberation Army.

Chairman Prachand also stressed no need for inviting foreigners or international agencies to manage arms and armies. The Maoist leader's latest statement has come days after the SPA and the CPN-Maoist signed on an Eight-Point Agreement calling upon the United Nations to help and monitor the management of armed personnel and arms of both the sides. [38]

The SPA decided to form a task force to sort out confusions about and misunderstandings over the Eight-Point Agreement reached between the SPA and the CPN-Maoist as well as to review the government's performance and its relationships with the parties. A meeting of the leaders of the SPA held at the CPN-UML headquarters on Friday, June 23, 2006 in principle agreed to "rearrange" a similar team, which went defunct after most of its members became ministers.

Talking to reporters after the four-hour meeting, NC General Secretary Ram Chandra Paudel said the task force should be in place by Tuesday, June 27, 2006 for submitting its recommendations for the implementations of the Eight-Point Agreement reached between the SPA and the CPN-Maoist. Amrit Bohara of the CPN-UML said that the meeting reviewed all the issues that had been raised by various SPA members; the task force would identify all of the problems and table proposals for their resolution. NC leader Arjun Narshing K. C. said that the parties were committed to taking the peace process to a logical conclusion, so the task force would settle all the problems.

Though the task force was to be given a final shape by Tuesday, June 27, 2006, the leaders failed to name its members. A top level CPN-UML leader said that the all-party task-force team could not be formed, as the NC leaders were reluctant to name its representatives without consulting with their president Girija Prasad Koirala, currently in Bangkok, Thailand for medical checkup. [39] The SPA leaders were afraid of losing their grip on power. So, they attempted to confuse others and themselves on the peace process and stay on in power. This is an old trick; every Nepalis understands it.

In an interview published in Kathmandu, Prachand said powerful neighbor India was instrumental in persuading the CPN-Maoist to enter into an alliance with the SPA for fighting against the king’s dictatorial regime. "India played a positive role in reaching the 12-point understanding with the SPA," Prachand said in an interview in the latest edition of the weekly news magazine ‘Nepal’. "His (Gyanendra`s) negative behavior pushed us toward each other. This (political) change wouldn’t have come, hadn’t some foreign powers, mainly India, encouraged us to do something jointly," said the rebel leader. [40]

After taking the heavy criticisms of the Eight-Point Deal reached without prior discussion at the party-level, on Saturday June 24, 2006, CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal said that both the "Maoist violence" and the "regression" have been pushed aside after the ‘Eight-Point Deal’. General Secretary Nepal claimed that the deal between the SPA and the CPN-Maoist has created a congenial environment for "hope and trust." He said, “There is no possibility of "regression" making a comeback. None of the regressive elements will try to make a comeback and the Maoists will not take-up guns again." [41]

“There have been historical decisions and agreements in favor of the people, but we have to work hard to implement them. It was not easy to bring the Maoists that had taken up arms for the last 11 years to the peace process,” said Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula. “The Eight-Point Agreement signed between the SPA and the CPN-Maoist was a developed form of the 12-point agreement signed eight months ago. It is natural for some sort of waves to generate when a landmark decision for change is taken. The Eight-Point Agreement has conveyed good message to all peace-loving people,” Home Minister Sitaula said. “We have succeeded in converging the diverse roadmaps of the SPA and the Maoists. A political roadmap to construct new Nepal through a constituent assembly has been put into practice and we are discussing about the ways to achieve the goals it has set,” he said. [42] Home Minister made significant efforts to bring a lasting peace in the country. He escorted Chairman Prachand and his Second-In-Command, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai back and forth between the PM’s residence in Kathmandu and their residence in the western Nepal. However, speaking at the House on July 02, 2006, Member of the House of Representatives representing CPN-UML, Raghuji Pant charged Home Minister Sitaula of escorting the Maoists instead of appreciating his efforts to bring Maoists to the peace process. Nepalis certainly appreciated the Home Minister’s efforts to make peace with the Maoists. Was House Member Pant speaking in his own interest or in the interest of his party or in the interest of the nation?

The topmost Maoist leaders arrived in Kathmandu from western Nepal, on Saturday evening, June 24, 2006 to hold talks with other party leaders. They were also likely to hold a second round of "High-level Talks" with the SPA leaders soon. In separate meetings with two top leaders of the SPA on Sunday, June 25, 2006, Maoist leaders Prachand and Dr Baburam Bhattarai expressed their worries about the recent comment of the Nepali Army on Prachand's remarks on the performances of the Nepali Army, and reported misunderstandings over the Eight-Point Agreement between the SPA and the CPN-Maoist within and outside the SPA.

Confirming the rebel leaders' meeting with General Secretary of CPN-UML, Madhav Kumar Nepal, and Chairman of Nepal Workers’ and Peasants’ Party, Narayan Man Bijukchhe, Maoist Leader Dinanath Sharma told ‘The Kathmandu Post’ reporter that top leaders of the Maoists would continue holding meetings with other SPA leaders, members of civil society and human rights activists in the coming days.

Maoist Leader Sharma said, “In the meetings, the Maoists’ and SPA leaders focused on clarifying confusions about the Eight-Point Agreement signed on June 16, 2006. Various powers including the army have been involved in conspiring against the Eight-Point Agreement. There are misunderstandings over the agreement even within the SPA."

Chairman Bijukchhe said, “rebel leaders raised the issue of confusion and misunderstanding over the Eight-Point Agreement during the meeting. They expressed worries about whether the SPA was distancing itself from the agreement. They were also worried about any kind of conspiracy against the Eight-Point Pact."

Speaking at a function held to mark the Seventh Convention of Rastriya Banijya Bank Workers' Union in Chitwan, CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal said, “There is lack of trust between the seven parties and the Maoists. This should be resolved at the earliest through deep and extensive dialogue." During his meeting with Prachand, General Secretary Nepal said that he raised the issue of the rebels still continuing extortion and abductions. However, he was encouraged by the discussion he had with Prachand. [43]

Talking to the journalists after attending the program hosted by the Home Ministry on the occasion of the “International Day against Drug Abuse and Illegal Trafficking” in Kathmandu on June 26, 2006, Home Minister Sitaula said that the government was very serious in institutionalizing the supremacy of the people and leading the nation to establishing a lasting peace in the nation; the talks between the Nepal Government and the Maoists were quite positive and fruitful because the Maoists were also very serious on the matter. On a query about the disputes among the seven parties over the Eight-Point Agreement, Home Minister Sitaula said, "No one is dissatisfied with the agreement, the only complain is for doing it in a hurry.” [44]

Giving continuity to his political discussions, Chairman of CPN-Maoist, Prachand met with President of NC-D, Sher Bahadur Deuba on Tuesday, June 27, 2006. They discussed the current political situation of the country following the Eight-Point Agreement between the seven party alliance (SPA) and Maoists signed on Friday, June 16, 2006. They also discussed the different views expressed by the leaders of seven political parties on the Eight-Point Agreement. Senior Maoist leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai was also present on the occasion. Maoist Chairman Prachand held discussion with the leaders of Nepali Congress and Nepal Sadbhawana Party-Anandidevi (NSP-A) on Monday, June 26, 2006. NSP-A General Secretary Rajendra Mahato said, "Both the sides reiterated their commitment to implement the agreement at all cost." Mahato also said rebel leaders were of the view that minor disputes could be settled immediately "if we are committed to attain the desired goal". He added, "Both sides were of the view that there might be conspiracy if the SPA and the Maoists don't handle the situation carefully." NC General Secretary, Ram Chandra Poudel said that the NC and Maoist leaders discussed almost all contemporary issues during the two-and-half hour meeting in the evening. "They were very positive," he said, however, they didn't have enough time to discuss important issues such as arms management and alternative to the House of Representatives. General Secretary Poudel said, "We principally agreed on arms management. But we will meet again to decide the process. We also discussed the return of the displaced people, stopping deforestation, scrapping the Maoist-run 'People's Courts'… and they were positive about it." Maoist leaders held discussions with CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal, Chairman of Nepal Workers and Peasants’ Party Narayan Man Bijukchhe on Sunday, June 25, 2006. According to a Maoist source, the leaders will hold discussion with top leaders of seven political parties and leaders of civil society too. [45]

In their effort to persuade the international community to recognize them as a legitimate political force, Second-In-Command of the CPN-Maoist, Dr Babu Ram Bhattarai, and spokesperson for the CPN-Maoist, Krishna Bahadur Mahara met with two powerful foreign envoys on Wednesday, June 28, 2006; this has been the first of such encounters since the rebels launched their insurgency 10 years ago.

Second-In-Command of the CPN-Maoist, Dr Baburam Bhattarai and spokesperson for the CPN-Maoist, Krishna Bahadur Mahara met with the Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Shiva Shankar Mukharjee at his office in the embassy, Kathmandu, and sought Indian support for "institutionalizing democracy and peace process" in Nepal. Referring to the meeting with the Indian ambassador, spokesperson Mahara said, "It was a courtesy call. We talked about institutionalizing democracy in the wake of the successful people's movement. Ambassador Mukharjee said India would continuously support institutionalizing democracy in Nepal.” During their meeting, the Maoist leaders also requested Ambassador Mukharjee for the release of at least 137 Maoists including three central leaders such as C.P. Gajurel called. "Gaurav", Mohan Baidhya called "Kiran" and Kul Prasad K.C. currently held in various Indian jails. India officially treated the Maoists as a terrorist outfit, but has recently supported their move to return to mainstream politics.

Later in the day, they met with the advisor to the Swedish Foreign Ministry on Conflict Management, Lena Sundh. She arrived in Kathmandu from Stockholm on Monday, June 26, 2006 for a six-day political assessment. During their meeting with Advisor Sundh, the rebel leaders sought the support of Sweden for making the Nepal's peace process a success. "She has promised support for it," Spokesperson Mahara said. Experienced in conflict management in Africa and elsewhere, Advisor Sundh is the first high-ranking official from the European Union member to meet any rebel leader in Nepal.

Advisor Sundh said that they held discussions on paving the way for a lasting peace, management of arms and armies, resolving gender issues, and ensuring a society where everyone can walk freely. [46]

On Wednesday, June 28, 2006, US Ambassador to Nepal, James F. Moriarty said that his country was delighted that there was a broad agreement on a roadmap to return Nepal to full democracy and peace by means of a constituent assembly. The US remarks came after an Eight-Point Deal reached between the seven-party alliance government and the Maoist rebels to pave the way for constituent assembly elections. "If that agreement is fully and fairly implemented, the people of Nepal will be able to decide their own future—and we firmly believe that they will endorse the path of peace, prosperity, and democracy," the US envoy said while addressing a program in Kathmandu. Stating that democracy demands the active participation in public life of all citizens, Ambassador Moriarty said, "April was only the beginning. That broad-based public enthusiasm and involvement must be sustained if democracy is to succeed in Nepal."

He said that the new Nepal government has shown its good faith by trying to meet the will of the people, and accordingly has invested heavily in efforts to bring peace in Nepal by entering into agreements and negotiations with the Maoists. However, he added, "I am disappointed, however, that the Maoists as yet are not showing the same good faith. Like much of the media, many political party leaders, and indeed the average Nepali I meet on trips around the country, I am concerned by the continued gap between Maoist commitments and Maoist actions. Kidnapping, extortion, intimidation and murder are not tools for mainstream democratic political parties—which the Maoists claim they are becoming." The ambassador's examples included a 19-year-old youth abducted by the Maoists and allegedly killed by them earlier this month. Ambassador Moriarty called on the guerrillas to give up violence before joining the interim government - otherwise, he said, such a government would probably not be eligible for US assistance.

Comments by the US ambassador in Nepal follow similar complaints from the UN. In a report on Tuesday, June 27, 2006, the Nepal office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the Maoists had abducted several people and killed nine since early May. The rebels have denied the UN allegations but say they will investigate. However, neighbors of the deceased 19-year-old say the Maoists are not keeping such promises. The accord signed with the government commits both sides to having their weapons managed with UN assistance in the run-up to planned elections - but does not mention a permanent renunciation of violence.

Ambassador Moriarty also reminded, “On June 18, Prachand told in an interview: “’If talks fail, there will definitely be an October Revolution of its own kind in Nepal. We are ready to lead that revolution.’ [47] The political parties have worked hard in recent weeks, without resorting to intimidation, to bring about a new political order that will benefit all Nepalis. The Maoists need to show the same spirit of cooperation and compromise."

The US ambassador said that the US wants to believe that the Maoists have changed, that they (Maoists) will permanently renounce violence, that they will give up their arms before constituent assembly elections and submit themselves to the will of the Nepali people, and that they mean what they say when they speak loftily of supporting multiparty democracy and liberal economies.

He said that the US urges all to continue to have the strength of will to attain and then sustain democracy. "The United States will be with you," he said.

Ambassador Moriarty also said that the US has increased its bilateral assistance by $12 million in recent months to a total of $ 45 million this year, including some $8 million for programs that directly build the capacity of vital democratic institutions such as the Peace Secretariat, Commission for Investigation Into Abuse of Authority, National Human Rights Commission, Election Commission, and the judiciary. “We are supporting national and local peace-building initiatives and efforts to improve public understanding of the peace negotiations, the code of conduct, and a constituent assembly process.” [48]

Meanwhile, Maoist spokesperson, Krishna Bahadur Mahara said the US Ambassador James F. Moriarty's recent statement was not based on the ground reality or the interest of the Nepali people. "If what Moriarty spoke is the official voice of the US, we urge the government of the US to review it since it is against the aspirations of the Nepali people and entire democratic forces," said spokesperson Mahara on Thursday, June 29, 2006. He said it was up to the people of Nepal to decide what should be done to resolve Nepal's political problems and restore peace.

During the meeting with Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) on Thursday, June 29, 2006, Maoist Chairman Prachand said that "some parties" were scared of Maoists securing more votes while few others wanted to push the Maoists back to jungle. "We did not speak about October revolution as understood by Moriarty," said Prachand. "But if we are cornered from all sides, we will be compelled to do so." He accused Moriarty of misinterpreting the democratic republic. Maoists’ angry reaction came as a response to Moriarty's comparison of their present strategy with the October revolution of Russia in 1917. Moriarty had also questioned the faith of the rebels in the present peace process. [49]

The Maoist Chairman said that he wanted to talk to US Ambassador, James F Moriarty, to know why Washington was "so biased" against their party. "We are eager to talk to Moriarty and to know why he is so biased against us." "We have asked former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Communist Party of Nepal-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal to arrange a meeting with the US Ambassador."

However, the American envoy has already given a negative signal. "They (Maoists) should change their behavior instead of trying to meet diplomats," Moriarty said before heading to Washington for three weeks to brief the State Department about the current developments in Nepal. The US Ambassador also warned that if the Maoists join the government before laying down arms, the US would not assist that government. [50]

On Friday, June 30, 2006, speaking at Reporters' Club Nepal in Kathmandu influential politburo member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Sitaram Yechury said that US Ambassador James Moriarty's recent anti-Maoist remarks "grossly violated" international norms; the "basic international norms" accepted by all countries is that it is up to the people of an independent country to decide on major issues. Yechury played a key role in the run-up to and during the April Revolution.

After meeting the Maoist leaders, Yechury got the impression that the rebels wouldn't go back to jungle. "They won't go back to the old path," he said. "They are committed to implementing it (the Eight-Point Agreement between the government and the Maoist on June 16) they believe in multiparty democracy and competitive politics." [51]

In an interview with Nepal Television's program called “Bahas” aired on Saturday, July 01, 2006, Chairman Prachand said, "We won't walk out of the peace process even if one or two Doramba [52] incidents take place. We have come to the dialogue table with commitment to not dishonoring the people's desires by taking up the gun again." He also said that his party came to the negotiating table with strong commitment to realizing peace and democracy. "(Instead of taking up arms again), we will rather launch another movement, just like the 19-day (April 2006) movement, for 29 days or 39 days to eliminate the feudal forces." Chairman Prachand also said that all political parties should take the forthcoming Constituent Assembly polls as symbolically an "October Revolution" to establish a democratic republic in the country.

Stressing the need to place the People's Liberation Army and the Nepali Army under the command of the Prime Minister prior to holding elections for a Constituent Assembly, he said this would be the only solution to the current situation of "two governments and two armies". He added that both armies could be merged after the Constituent Assembly polls.

Referring to anti-Maoist remarks made by US ambassador James Moriarty recently, Chairman Prachand said the US was "trying to disrupt the peace process" right after the 12-point understanding reached between the Maoists and the SPA in November 2005. "US envoy Moriarty has been trying to provoke the situation, which I have taken seriously."

Partially agreeing with a recent United Nations report about nine killings by the Maoists after announcing the ceasefire in April, he said the Maoists did not kill all of them. "We are ready to (admit) the mistakes." He, however, said an unnamed Nepali Army colonel in Kapilvastu was responsible for distributing arms and money to a group of vigilantes, "who later killed seven Maoists".

Chairman Prachand said the Maoists don't want to boost the morale of the Nepali Army patrolling in the streets (going against the 25-point ceasefire Code of Conduct) by "completely" abiding by the code. "We are primarily committed to the code… We don't want to boost their (army's) morale by religiously observing it."

The rebel chief used the Nepal TV forum to correct his earlier harsh remarks on the Nepali Army. "If there is confusion over my wrong choice of words, I want to take back those words through this interview," he said.

During the press conference held at the official residence of the Prime Minister on June 16 after the Eight-Point Agreement between the SPA and the Maoist, which was aired live by the state-run TV channel, Chairman Prachand had said the Nepali Army had done nothing other than "murdering Nepali people and raping Nepali women". "My comment was not meant to blame the entire army," he said. "Most army personnel are children of ordinary people who are also democratic. But there are a few generals… who have ill intention against the people and democracy. My comment was about them, not all Nepali Army men in general." [53]

Leader of the Communist Party of India -Marxist, Sitaram Yechury currently in Kathmandu said India would welcome any kind of agreement between the CPN-Maoist and the Government of Nepal on the management of the Maoists’ arms and their participation in the interim Government. Leader Yechury said, “India is always for democratic consolidation, establishment of peace and economic prosperity in Nepal, hence, we would welcome every activity of the Nepal people to this end.”

Responding to journalists at the Reporters’ Club in Kathmandu on July 01, 2006, Leader Sitaram Yechury said many issues mentioned in the 12-point Understanding reached between the SPA and the Maoists in the past and in the recent Eight-Point Agreement have already been settled, there would be no further complexities. Shedding light on his meeting with the CPN-Maoist Chairman Prachand, and with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, Leader Yechury said Maoist Leader Prachand told him that the Maoists joined multiparty competitive politics and they were committed not to take up arms again; similarly, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala was eager to and concerned about moving ahead to give stability to the country pursuant to the 12-point Understanding. [54]

On June 29, addressing the CPN-UML Seti Zonal Party Workers Gathering in Dhangadhi, General Secretary of CPN-UML, Madhav Kumar Nepal asked all cadres to be careful at a time when the nation is passing through the transition period. He said that the Eight-Point Agreement between the SPA and the Maoists was done after holding enough discussions with the top leaders; enough homework should be done before the next round of summit talks would hold; it would not be difficult to solve the current political problem if people's decision was respected and that the change brought about after winning the favor of the people would be sustainable. "It is a pleasure for the CPN-UML that Maoist leader Prachand has accepted Multiparty People's Democracy propounded by +Madan Bhandari”, he said. [55]

Since April 24, when a country has been passing through transition, elements not happy with the turn of events have been looking for every opportunity to derail the current process for democracy and peace. Killings, abductions and extortion by Maoists would only provide them with fodder. The SPA government too cannot evade its responsibility for its lack of urgency, and sensitivity, to quickly hammer out a monitoring mechanism while reports of atrocities by the Maoists poured in from across the country. Both the SPA and the Maoists said they would ask the UNOHCHR (UN Office of High Commission for Human Rights) to assist the committee on the peace code of conduct monitoring. Both the sides have done a little to this end so far. [56]

The Maoists have engaged in quiet revolution. However, the success of such a revolution lies on their sincerity and commitment to a lasting peace rather than just grabbing power. They have been engaged in resolving the conflict by diplomacy rather than by a war. However, everyone engaged in grabbing power should know that Nepalis are not going to tolerate any sorts of dictatorial regime any more in the future. Nepalis of the young generation are not for either a ceremonial king or for a proletariats’ dictatorship; they want a multi-party democratic republic. Nepalis are not going to compromise on less than the fundamental human rights, multi-party democracy, independent judiciary, and independent and free media. If anyone has in mind to come to power without giving those basic needs of the people, they would certainly not succeed.


Footnotes

[1] For courtesy as well as for security

[2] Ekantipur.com posted on 2006-06-16 20:33:38 (Server Time)

[3] Ekantipur.com posted on: 2006-06-16 20:33:38 (Server Time)

[4] The full text of the 12-point Understanding is as follow:

Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist)

Central Committee

Press Release

On behalf of our party, I make public this press release on the understanding reached between the CPN-Maoist and the seven-party alliance engaged in the struggle against the autocratic monarchy:

Memorandum of Understanding

The struggle between democracy and the autocratic monarchy continuing in Nepal for a long time has reached at the very serious and new turn. Today's need is to set up peace ending the armed conflict continuing for the last ten years through a forward-looking political breakthrough. Therefore, it has been indispensable to implement the concept of absolute democracy reorganizing the state for resolving the political, economical, social, cultural, class, caste, gender and regional problems by ending the autocratic monarchy and setting up absolute democracy. In the context of this situation existing in the country, we make public the following understanding reached between the CPN-Maoist and the seven parliamentary parties.

Articles of understanding

1. Currently, the main wish of the Nepalese people is democracy, peace, and prosperity, social advancement, an independent, and sovereign Nepal. We have fully agreed on that the main obstacle to this end is the autocratic monarchy. Our clear belief is that there is no possibility of having peace, progress and prosperity in the country without establishing absolute democracy by ending the autocratic monarchy. Therefore, we have reached an understanding that all anti-autocratic-monarchy forces will hit the autocratic monarchy from their respective positions by setting off the nationwide democratic movement for ending the autocratic monarchy and establishing absolute democracy.

2. The seven-party alliance engaged in the movement against regression is fully committed to the fact that sovereignty and state power could be fully transfer to the people, and the conflict could be ended by establishing absolute democracy in the country through holding elections for a Constituent Assembly based on the talks and agreement with the Maoists, and they are also committed to restore the parliament through the power of the people's movement, and then set up an all-party government based on its decision. The CPN-Maoist has the belief and the commitment to achieve the goal of holding a national political convention of all democratic forces engaged in the movement against the regression, and of setting up an interim government based on its decision, and then of going for a Constituent Assembly election. We have an understanding that the seven-party alliance and the CPN-Maoist will continue dialogue for reaching a consensus on the procedural matters. There is an understanding between us that the power of the people's movement is the only alternative to achieve this goal.

3. Currently, the country needs a positive solution of the armed conflict and a lasting peace. Therefore, we are determined to set up a lasting peace by ending the ongoing-armed conflict in the country through the forward-looking political resolution in favor of setting up absolute democracy, and to end the autocratic monarchy and then to hold elections for a Constitution Assembly that comes thereafter following the procedure. The CPN-Maoist is committed to move ahead in the peaceful new political current through this process. In this context, there has been an understanding to keep the Maoists' armed forces and the Royal Nepal Army under the supervision of the UN or any other reliable international agency during the elections for a Constituent Assembly for holding free and fair elections, and to accept the results of such elections after the termination of the autocratic monarchy. We even expect to have the involvement of a reliable international agency in the process of our dialogue.

4. As an institution, the CPN-Maoist makes public its commitment to the democratic values and ideals such as competitive multi-party system of governance, civil liberties, human rights, concept of the rule of law, fundamental rights and so on with clarity, and to move forward its activities accordingly.

5. The CPN-Maoist has committed to create an environment conducive to the leaders and cadres of democratic parties and other people displaced during the armed conflict to return to their respective places, and settle there with honor, to get back their unjustly seized properties and assets, and to practice the political activities without hindrance.

6. The CPN-Maoist has committed to self-review the shortcomings and the mistakes made in the past, and make self-criticism of them, and not to repeat such things in the future.

7. Self-reviewing the shortcomings and mistakes made in the past while in the parliament and in the government, the seven-party alliance has committed not to repeat such shortcomings and mistakes in the future.

8. In the context of moving forward the peace process, we have committed to fully honor the values and ideals of human rights, to move forward based on these principles, and to honor the media freedom.

9. Declaration of municipal elections and the talk of parliamentary polls are a ploy to confuse the people and the international community, and done with the deceitful objective of legitimizing the illegitimate and autocratic rule of the king. We call upon all the people to make such elections unsuccessful, and we declare that we will actively boycott these polls in our respective manner.

10. The people and representative political parties are the real guards of nationalism. Therefore, we are fully committed to the independence of the country, and its sovereignty, and to safeguard the territorial integrity, and the national unity. Our common duty is to maintain friendly relations with all countries, and good neighborly relations particularly with the neighboring countries such as India and China based on the principles of peaceful co-existence. We urge all patriotic people to be on the alert against the deceitful efforts of the king and royalists 'Mandale' to raise question about the patriotism of the political parties, and to claim for their patriotism confusing the patriotic people for preserving their autocratic and illegal rule, and we appeal to the international powers and people for supporting our democratic movement against the autocratic monarchy by any possible means.

11. We reached the understanding between us focusing on democracy, peace, prosperity, complete social change, and independence, sovereignty and self-esteem of the country. Based on this understanding we are launching a peaceful people's movement. In order to make it successful, we heartily call upon civic society, professional community, class organizations and associations, people of all castes and professions, media people, intellectuals and the entire Nepalese community to actively participate in it.

12. Regarding the past inappropriate behavior of the parties, our common commitment is to conduct investigation into the complaints of the specific party and into the incidents demanded for investigation, and if found anyone guilty, will take actions against such a guilty person, and make it public. We have reached an understanding that from now on problems cropped up among the parties shall be resolved at the concerned level or at the leadership level through a dialogue.

November 22, 2005

Signature

Prachand

Chairman

CPN-Maoist

Central Committee

[5] The 25-point Ceasefire Code Of Conduct is as follow: For transforming the ceasefire between the Government of Nepal and the CPN-Maoist into permanent peace and resolving the problems through negotiations, and following the wishes of the Nepali people a code of conduct has been agreed upon as follows:

For guaranteeing fearless civilian life,

Both the parties shall:

1. Not issue any statement or engage in any activities that could provoke each other;

2. Not mobilize, display or use their armed forces in a manner that could spread fear and terror among the people;

3. Not attack or destroy each other’s military or security installations, not lay down mines or ambushes, not recruit new people in one’s military and not spy on each other;

4. Extend mutual cooperation on maintaining peace and security;

5. Discuss and reach understanding as required regarding the issue of management of arms and armed personnel.

For creating an environment of trust among the people,

Both the parties shall:

6. Not participate in public meetings, conference or any other political activities in combat dresses or with arms;

7. Not hinder political activists of either side and members of social organizations to move around the country and express their views, organize meetings or engage in their organizational works; and not subject them to any mental or physical pressure.

For ensuring the basic service delivery to the people and development activities

Both parties shall:

8. Not organize activities such as `bandh’ (general strike) and `chakka jam’ (transport strike) during the period of ceasefire, but may hold peaceful demonstrations;

9. Allow operating essential services and facilities to the people without any disruption;

10. Not create hurdles in undertaking regular development works peacefully and other works aimed at people’s benefit;

11. Not obstruct or ban transport of items such as food, medicines, and materials used in development woks, and items of daily use;

12. Create an environment conducive to the smooth functioning of schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, health centers and industrial institutions.

Fro ensuring cooperation from media on peace talks,

Both parties shall:

13. Use civilized and dignified language for disseminating information on ceasefire, code of conduct, the peace process, and other political activities;

14. Not issue statements to the media in a manner, which could hamper the talks and peace process.

For ensuring no collection of donation and other financial assistance forcibly,

Both parties shall:

15. Not collect or mobilize donations or financial assistance in cash, kind or in the form of services against anybody’s will.

For release and rehabilitation,

Both parties shall:

16. Withdraw accusation, claims or cases filed by both the parties against various individuals, and release the detainees gradually;

17. Publicize the whereabouts of the disappeared people immediately;

18. Help in the rehabilitation of and extend cooperation on returning displaced people to their respective houses in a peaceful, comfortable and respectable manner;

19. Return the properties of the leaders of political parties, activists and civilians, which were seized, locked up or prohibited to use during the period of the conflict, to concerned persons or their families; resolve the problems of returning the properties through mutual agreement.

For facilitating the talks,

Both parties shall:

20. Not create hurdles in the movement and activities of individuals involved in negotiations.

For monitoring,

Both parties shall:

21. Ask national and international monitoring teams to monitor the ceasefire based on the mutual agreement between the two parties.

Miscellaneous

Both parties shall:

22. Resolve dispute, if any, in the interpretation of this code of conduct, on the basis of agreement between the parties.

23. Make amendments to the code of conduct through mutual agreement according to the spirit of the preamble of this code;

24. Enforce this code of conduct immediately after it is signed;

25. Make the code of conduct public immediately after it is signed.

Signed by:

Krishna Bahadur Mahara Krishna Prasad Sitaula

On behalf of the CPN-Maoist On behalf of the Government of Nepal

Signed on May 26, 2006

[6] Full text of the Eight-Point Agreement reached between the SPA and the CPN-Maoist on June 16, 2006 is as follow:

Today 16th of June 2006, at the call of the dialogue teams of both the government of Nepal and the CPN-Maoist, topmost leaders of the seven political parties and the CPN-Maoist held a meeting at the Prime Minister's residence, Baluwatar. The meeting signed an Eight-Point Peace Agreement as follows.

The CPN-Maoist and the SPA agreed to:

1. Implement with dedication and in an honest manner the 12-point understanding [see footnotes] reached between the seven-party alliance (SPA) and the CPN-Maoist on November 22, 2005, and the cease-fire code of conduct [see footnotes] agreed on by both the Government of Nepal and the CPN-Maoist, and made public by the dialogue teams of both the Government of Nepal and the CPN-Maoist on May 26, 2006;

2. Carry out their respective activities in a peaceful manner for expressing their commitment to democratic norms and values such as a competitive multiparty system, civil liberty, individual rights, human rights, press freedom and rule of law;

3. Request the United Nations for the cooperation on the management of armies and weapons of both parties and for the monitoring of their activities during the elections for a Constituent Assembly for ensuring free and fair elections;

4. Draft an interim constitution guaranteeing the democratic rights acquired by the people's movement of 1990 and of 2006, and based on the commitments made in the 12-point understanding, and considering the spirit of the preamble of the cease-fire code of conduct; constitute an interim government accordingly; set date for holding elections for a Constituent Assembly; dissolve the House of Representatives and the CPN-Maoist-constituted people's government by making an alternative arrangements on the basis of consensus;

5. Make decisions on the issues of national importance that have long-term implications on the basis of consensus;

6. Ensure people's fundamental rights to participate in the elections for a constituent assembly, and in the constitution making process without fear, intimidation and violence; and ensure the international supervision and monitoring as required during the elections to this end;

7. Progressively restructure the state through elections for a Constituent Assembly for resolving problems of class, race, regions and gender; make commitments to transform the cease-fire between the Government of Nepal and the CPN-Maoist into a lasting peace focusing on democracy, peace, prosperity, progress and independence, sovereignty and self-pride of the country; resolve problems through dialogues.

8. The meeting also instructed both the dialogue teams of the Government of Nepal and the CPN-Maoist to immediately implement all the points of the agreement.

Signatories in the Eight-Point Agreement are:

On behalf of the CPN-Maoist: Party Chairman Prachand

On behalf of the SPA are:

(1) NC President and Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala
(2)
(3) CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal
(4)
(5) NC-D President Sher Bahadur Deuba
(6)
(7) People's Front Nepal President and Deputy Prime Minister Amik Sherchan
(8)
(9) Nepal Workers’ and Peasants' Party President Narayan Man Bijukchhe
(10)
(11) Nepal Sadbhavana Party-Anandidevi Vice-president Bharat Bimal Yadav
(12)
(13) Left Front Nepal President and Minister Prabhu Narayan Chaudhari.
(14)


Signed on June 16, 2006

[7] The Rising Nepal, June 17, 2006

[8] The day the king restored the House of Representatives dissolved on May 22, 2002, and surrendered all power to it

[9] This was a peace treaty between the then-Government of Nepal and the then- British India signed in the southern town called Sugauli after an 1814-1815 war between Nepal and British India.

[10] The Rising Nepal, June 17, 2006

[11] Nepalnews.com pb June 17, 2006

[12] Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula flew in and out with him on a copter to ensure his safety

[13] The Rising Nepal, June 17, 2006

[14] The dialogue teams were moving at the speed Chairman Prachand wanted but Former Justice and the Coordinator Aryal has been waiting for a formal letter from the government to start drafting an interim constitution but he has not received it even until June 20, 2006. Attorney General of Nepal said that they did not need a letter from the government as the committee was formed by the agreement between two political powers.

[15] Nepalnews.com pb June 18, 2006

[16] The China Post Online, June 17, 2006

[17] Steps to Peace in 2005 and 2006

November 22, 2005: Maoists and the SPA reached 12-point understanding

April 6, 2006: Mass anti-king protests broke out

April 24, 2006: King reinstated parliament, gave up direct rule

April 30, 2006: Parliament voted to hold constituent assembly polls

May 18, 2006: Parliament made Nine-point Declaration of Supremacy of the House of Representatives

May 26, 2006: Preliminary peace talks began with Maoists

June 2, 2006: First Maoist rally held in Kathmandu

June 16, 2006: Peace talks led to the Eight-Point Agreement

July 3, 2006: Parliament passed the resolution annulling the articles contradictory to Nine-point Declaration.

[18] BBC NEWS, Online, Saturday, June 17, 2006

[19] The Rising Nepal, June 18, 2006; Ekantipur.com posted on: 2006-06-17 20:09:36 (Server Time)

[20] The Rising Nepal, June 18, 2006 Editorial ‘Important Achievement’]

[21] Ekantipur.com ‘UN, UK envoys welcome pact; US with people’ By Tilak P. Pokharel posted on: 2006-06-17 20:05:26 (Server Time)

[22] Ekantipur.com ‘Indian Left Leaders Hail SPA-Maoist Peace Roadmap’ By Special Correspondent New Delhi, June 18, 2006 posted on 2006-06-18 09:22:47 (Server Time)

[23] Ekantipur.com posted on: 2006-06-17 20:07:02 (Server Time)

[24] Ekantipur.com posted on 2006-06-17 20:08:16 (Server Time)

[25] Reuters Alert Net Foundations, ‘ANALYSIS-Nepal peace deal hinges on trust, Maoist guns’ By Simon Denyer, Jun 19, 2006 02:28:16 GMT

[26] The Hindu, June 19, 2006

[27] The Rising Nepal, ‘Switzerland to back Nepal in UN Security Council’, June 19, 2006, Ekantipur.com Kantipur report posted on 2006-06-18 20:57:57 (Server Time)

[28] The Rising Nepal, June 19, 2006, ‘Interim Law To Base On 7 Party-Maoist Pact’

[29] The Rising Nepal, June 19, 2006, ‘Women Annoyed For Not Including Them In Draft Committee’,

[29a] Nepalnews.com ia Jun 30, 2006.

[30] ZEENEWS.com June 19, 2006, ‘Fear Starts To Lift In Rural Nepal After Peace Deal’

[31] Nepalnews.com pb June 19, 2006

[32] The Rising Nepal, June 23, 2006, ‘SPA leaders review 8-pt pact, statute-drafting committee’; Ekantipur.com June 23, 2006; Nepalnews.com pb June 23, 2006

[33] Nepalnews.com by June 23, 2006; Ekantipur.com ‘Army objects to Prachand’s comments’ posted on 2006-06-22:21:30 (Server Time)

[34] DailyIndia.com June 27, 2006, ‘Sex Abuse Rampant As Nepal Schools Turn Into Barracks’ By Sudeshna Sarkar, Indo-Asian News Service; Ekantipur.com ‘Kids In 8 Schools Learn With Guns Around Them’ posted on 2006-06-26 21:28:52 (Server Time)

[35] Ekantipur.com Kantipur Report ‘Prachand warns of conspiracies’ posted on 2006-06-22 21:22:32 (Server Time)

[36] Ekantipur.com Kantipur Report ‘Government asks army to keep mum’ posted on 2006-06-24 00:55:58 (Server Time)

[37] Nepalnews.com pb June 25, 2006; The Rising Nepal, June 24, 2006 ‘Minister Thakur sore over army statement’; Ekantipur.com ‘NA trying to disrupt peace process: Minister Thakur’ posted on 2006-06-23 06:24:41 (Server Time)

[38] The Rising Nepal June 24, 2006 ‘No reason to debate on 8-pt deal: Prachand’; nepalnews.com ia Jun 30, 2006

[39] The Rising Nepal, June 24, 2006 ‘Panel to sort out doubts over SPA-Maoist pact’

[40] ZEENEWS.com June 24, 2006 ‘India played prominent role in Nepal: Prachand’

[41] Ekantipur.com ‘Regressive elements 'pushed aside' after 8-pt deal, says Nepal’ posted on 2006-06-24 07:13:38 (Server Time)

[42] The Rising Nepal, June 25, 2006

[43] Ekantipur.com ‘Prachand, Baburam meet SPA leaders’ posted on 2006-06-25 19:39:34 (Server Time)

[44] The Rising Nepal, June 27, 2006, ‘All Parties Satisfy From 8-Point Agreement: Sitaula’

[45] Nepalnews.com pb June 27, 2006; Ekantipur.com ‘Prachand, Dr. Bhattarai meet leaders’ posted on 2006-06-26 21:29:15 (Server Time)

[46] Nepalnews.com pb June 28, 2006; Ekantipur.com ‘Rebels Court Foreign Envoys’ By Tilak Prasad Pokharel posted on 2006-06-28 21:36:13 (Server Time)

[47] In the interview with Prachand by Kishor Nepal posted on Ekantipur.com on 2006-06-20 10:30:41

[48] Ekantipur.com Kantipur Report posted on 2006-06-28 09:29:14 (Server Time); BBC NEWS June 28, 2006, ‘Nepal Rebels Still Killing – US’ By Charles Haviland, Kathmandu; The Rising Nepal, June 29, 2006, 'Maintain Mainstream Political Standard'; The Rising Nepal, June 29, 2006, ‘Maoist Commitment In Doubt, Says US Envoy’

[49] Nepalnews.com ia Jun 30, 2006; Ekantipur.com ‘Moriarty did not understand ground reality: Mahara’ Post Report Posted on 2006-06-29 17:49:13 (Server Time)

[50] The Hindu, July 2, 2006

[51] Ekantipur.com ‘Moriarty violated norms: Yechury’ posted on: 2006-07-01 20:45:01 (Server Time)

[52] The Maoists broke up the 2003-ceasefire after the then Royal Nepali Army gunned down unarmed 19 Maoists in cold blood at Doramba of the Ramechhap district.

[53] Ekantipur.com ‘Even Dorambas won’t disrupt talks: Prachand’ posted on: 2006-07-01 20:43:41 (Server Time)

[54] The Rising Nepal, July 02, 2006, ‘India for peace stability in Nepal, says Yechury’

[55] The Rising Nepal, June 30, 2006

[56] Ekantipur.com Editorial posted on 2006-06-29 17:52:36 (Server Time)

+ Madan Bhandari was the former General Secretary of the CPN-UML, killed in an accident.

*************

Siddhi B. Ranjitkar is a political analyst based in Kathmandu. His email address is srilaxm @ wlink.com.np.


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